Slab Pasta Pie

published Jan 29, 2022
Slab Pasta Pie Recipe

This sheet tray bake is easy to slice, equally easy to eat, and should quickly sneak its way into your nightly rotation.


Prep20 minutes

Cook45 minutes

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Credit: Kelli Foster

Working theory: Perhaps the marriage of food trends will be the big trend for 2022.

To test my hypothesis, I give you slab pasta pie, which borrows from three recent trends: slab pie, the rise of rigatoni, and sheet-pan dinners. What happens when you combine all three? You are gifted with a sheet tray bake that’s easy to make, easy to slice, and delightful to eat.

Credit: Kelli Foster

Some Tips for Making Slab Pasta Pie

  • Start by putting your sheet pan in the oven: In this recipe, the sheet pan preheats in the oven while you make the pasta. When the pasta is sauced, you’ll brush a little oil on the pan and spoon in the pasta. This method ensures that the pasta won’t stick to the pan and also will make the bottom of the pasta a little bit crispy.
  • Load the pan the right way: Speaking of texture, be sure to leave some of the points of the pasta sticking up when you spread in the pan. Those little points will get nice and crispy-crunchy while baking.
  • Don’t rinse the pasta: Remember not to rinse the pasta here. The starch of the pasta, along with some assistance from an egg and lots of gooey cheese, helps it stay together in a nice, neat slice.
  • Use your favorite mix-ins: I’m a sucker for the classic combo of sausage and some form of broccoli, but once you get the technique down, feel free to play around with new combos. Artichoke hearts and olives? Sure, why not! Maybe even throw some of that ever-popular feta cheese in there for good measure.

Slab Pasta Pie Recipe

This sheet tray bake is easy to slice, equally easy to eat, and should quickly sneak its way into your nightly rotation.

Prep time 20 minutes

Cook time 45 minutes

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 1 pound

    uncooked sweet or spicy Italian sausage

  • 2

    medium shallots (5 ounces)

  • 1 pound

    broccoli rabe (1 bunch) or baby broccoli (2 bunches)

  • 10 ounces

    low-moisture, whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (2 1/2 cups) and divided

  • 2 ounces

    Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 cup)

  • 1 pound

    dried penne rigate pasta

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt, plus more as needed

  • 4 cups

    (32 ounces) marinara sauce, such as Rao’s

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 teaspoon

    Calabrian chili paste (optional)


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and place a rimmed baking sheet on the rack. Heat the oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Remove any casings from 1 pound uncooked Italian sausage if needed. Finely dice 2 medium shallots (about 2/3 cup). Trim and cut the leaves from 1 pound broccoli rabe or baby broccoli crosswise into 1-inch pieces, then cut the stems into 1/3-inch pieces. If needed, grate 10 ounces mozzarella cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 2 1/2 cups). Grate 2 ounces Parmesan cheese on the small holes of the box grater (about 1 cup).

  2. When the water is boiling, add 1 pound dried penne pasta and cook according to package directions until barely al dente, about 7 minutes (the pasta will not be cooked through). Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, then drain the pasta.

  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the sausage and cook, breaking the sausage into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until almost cooked through and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.

  4. Add the shallots and cook, stirring often, until the shallots are soft and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add all of the broccoli rabe pieces and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring often, until the broccoli rabe is just tender and leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Taste and season the broccoli rabe with more kosher salt as needed.

  5. Place 4 cups marinara sauce, 1 large egg, and 1 teaspoon Calabrian chili paste if using in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add the pasta, pasta water, sausage mixture, and 1 cup of the mozzarella, and stir to combine.

  6. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and brush the bottom and the sides with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Transfer the pasta mixture onto the baking sheet and spread into an even layer, leaving some tips of pasta poking up for extra-crispy tips. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups mozzarella and all of the Parmesan.

  7. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake until the cheese is golden-brown and bubbly and the pasta is tender, about 25 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Fry up the leftovers by heating some olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the cold pasta and break it up with the back of a spoon. Fry undisturbed until the pasta is beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Flip the pasta with a flat spatula and re-spread out over the pan. Cook until golden-brown and crispy, 3 to 4 minutes more.